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John James MacDonnell, II

Also Known As: "McDonald"
Birthplace: Wicklow, Ireland
Death: February 23, 1762 (82)
Big Springs, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Bryan MacDonnell and Mary MacDonnell
Husband of Mary MacDonnell
Father of John McDonald and Thomas MacDonnell
Brother of William MacDonnell; James MacDonald; Bryan McDonald; Edward McDonald and Mary McHenry

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John MacDonnell

John Mac Donnell, eldest son of Bryan and Mary Mac Donnell, who came to New Castle with them and his two younger brothers in 1686. As he is our nearest tie with Scotland we may call him our Scotch ancestor. It is he whose name was mistakenly given as Thomas Donnell in the history, The Donnell Family, published in 1912. Explanation of the discrepancy in name will be found in the first chapter of this book, Tracing Back to Scotland. The first public mention of our Scotch ancestor appears in the land records of New Castle County as follows: “John Mac Donald, eldest son of Brian Mc Donald, 250 acres at twenty pounds for every one hundred acres, Nov. 11, 1708.” This seems to have been when he was twenty—nineyears of age, soon after the death of his father. Then again: “May 10, 1709, New Castle warrants, Province of Philadelphia, John McDonald, 254 acres.” This would make 504 acres and with the Great Meadow tract of fifty acres as provided by his father’s will, his land holdings amounted to 554 acres. There is just one more public record of John when he returned 250 acres.

In 1735 he returned 250 acres to thegovernment, presumably in exchange for land in a new section and as there is no record of his will at New Castle and no further mention of him in that vicinity, it is more than probable that he joined the party along with his four sons, Thomas, James, John and Samuel. Families were large in those days and the list of children may not be complete. There may have been a son Bryan (named for the grandfather) who died or remained behind and was lost to his family in this way.

John Mac Donnell’s route would be up the river by boat to Philadelphia and ‘then almost due west to their new home at Big Spring, 3. distance of about 115 miles.

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John MacDonnell's Timeline

November 11, 1679
Wicklow, Ireland
Age 30
Glencoe, Inverness-shire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Age 35
New Castle, New Castle County, Lower Counties on the Delaware
February 23, 1762
Age 82
Big Springs, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States